Differential Training

I’m really loving the @Adamyounggolf concept of differential practice. I can feel it’s really helping me to develop and refine MY swing and skills. Figured I’d start a thread where we can share some of our favorite differential drills and ideas. A couple I’m currently using and my notes:

Full Swing - soft wrists, normal wrists, tight wrists - in my normal swing I definitely skew between normal and tight wrists. I now do sets where I hit 5 balls with soft/supple wrist, 5 with normal, and 5 with tight wrists. I’m learning that my contact and ball flights improve quite a bit with soft/supple wrists even though I FEEL like I’m giving up some control in my swing.

Chipping - toe strike, center strike, heel strike. Practicing striking different parts of the face has helped me learn I can manipulate types of short game shots by which part of the face I strike.

Putting - face open, square, closed at address. I’ve found my speed control, roll, and line all improved when I intentionally set up with a face closed at address :man_shrugging:t2: don’t know why it works but it does so I’m rolling with it. The scorecard doesn’t care.

I’d love to hear other ideas for variables to explore!


Very interesting, thank you. Likewise, I can see/feel better ball striking when I feel that I use “light” grip, which sounds analogous to your soft/supple.

Your chipping strike locations results are fascinating. Those are great takeaways, IMO.

Re putting, have you tried anything with heel/center/toe strike on your putter?

I follow and maybe synthesize tidbits from various YouTube instructors (Ballard, Bazelgette, Maude) as I see fit. I think if I “jump in” with anyone it’s likely going to be Adam Young. His methodology seems to be pretty basic and straightforward. Please keep us updated.

Stick on target line about 10 yards down range

Same alignment each time…

Big right start line

Big left start line

Medium right start line

Medium left start line…


Drills you ask?
4 clubs per session, ½ bucket balls, 3 shots in a row with same club. Concentrating 1 shot each on toe, heel, center. Have to say I think others @ range thought “that guys a real hack.”
I probably read @Adamyounggolf The Practice Manual winter of '17-'18. Practiced alot in '18 season, not so much in '19. Said all that to say, They were the best striking & scoring seasons I’ve ever had.


I was taught to always practice with a purpose. I have putting drills I work on for like 20 minutes to a half hour. Same thing with bunker work. I usually practice with 2 wedges several different strikes for 20-30 minutes uphill, downhill, side hill, buried, etc. I also practice chipping and pitching from all types of strange places using different clubs for 45 minutes including left-handed upside wedge shots. On the range, I never bring more than 2 clubs. Usually a lofted club and another club, pick one I want to work on, I try to dial in wedges and I’ll hit at least one full bucket with the club I’m working on. If I’m trying to dial up a draw with a 5i that’s what I’m doing. My sessions usually last 3 hours, I never got into playing a round as a single. Prior to a competitive round when I hit the range, I’ll stretch, and grab a small bucket, hit a few lofted clubs. Then I’ll take the card and let’s say hole 1 is 370, I’ll hit a driver if it goes 230, leaves me 140, I’ll hit a 9 iron or 8 iron, if it goes how I want I go to hole 2 on the card, if it doesn’t let’s say I came up short I’ll actually chip on the mat. I might hit 35/40 balls on the range going through the card. It just goes back to how I learned to play. If you practice scatter shot that’s how you will be on the course. Always, always practice with a purpose.

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I’m working on heel, toe, and center strikes after buying @Adamyounggolf “The Strike Plan”. I’ve just recently started to mix them in on the range and had to listen to Adam’s advice on starting with shorter shots, as I couldn’t quite get it right with full swings.


Differential practice definitely helped my game. I highly recommend it as part of practice sessions. Heel-toe-middle, ball forward/normal/back, draws/fades. Not only is my ball striking crisper but I’m much more confident handling awkward lies on the course.


I start pupils with putting swings first - doing 10 shots in a row from toe, then 10 from heel. I use the 3D aim spot concept in the strike plan to help players mentally connect with how to focus. We scale it with the big/medium/small spots to build control.

Then we move up to chipping, then pitching, then full swings. And gradually we may even add a target (e.g. hit this 2- yard wide target while also hitting slightly from the toe). but that is WAY down the line in terms of skill progression.

Although, just for fun, I have players who are so good, I may give them a task such as

  1. hit a 15 yard target while also
  2. striking between 5 and 10mm from the toe
  3. with the path between 2 and 4 degrees in to out.

obviously it requires a QUAD to measure all of that. But I have players who can achieve it, and variants of it.


I appreciate the response! It’s good to know the progression of the swing length of the drill and to know to go with big, medium, and small results.

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